Register Tuesday | January 21 | 2020

Hugs, Hot Baths and Home

Day six on the road with Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene

Do Make Say Think get ready to open the show to a theatre that is only half-full. Backstage, Jason Collett describes the horror of singing to a room as it's filling up, and I decide that I'll never again linger at home for an extra drink before a show and risk missing the opening band.

I sit down in one of the cozy theatre seats to soak up the atmosphere. Do Make Say Think quickly set the tone for the rest of the evening. Their songs hit me like the tide, each incoming wave nudging me a little, and the occasional wallop lifting me completely to some other place. The wash of nostalgia for the band's living room jams and the significance of this performance as their last on this tour have me choked by mid-set.

The girl sitting alone in front of me feels the energy too. "This is so exciting," she says into the air between songs. If she only knew, I think to myself, how many elements had to fall into place for this to happen.

From a distance, it may just seem like band A opening up for band B, but in fact, the whole group of musicians on this tour is more like a nomadic tribe. Members come and go, contributing to the common purse the riches they have acquired in their travels. The sonic beauty achieved is certainly the sum of its unique parts.

During the show, I'm tapped on the shoulder by a girl enquiring if I'm "the guy doing the tour journal." I say "yes," happy to know that somebody's been reading, and then wonder how she picked me out. I surmise that she was going by my dishevelled appearance. I plan to throw myself fully-clothed into the washing machine as soon as I get home.

After the show, a dance party on the BSS bus is interrupted by the announcement that last call is fast-approaching. At the bar, the bands enter to a hearty cheer from the patrons. The talk is of long hot baths and home-cooked food-simple but essential pleasures that are eagerly anticipated. Everybody's feeling tired, relieved and sentimental. Hugs are flying in all directions. It feels good to make plans for coffee in the coming weeks, and after some recovery, maybe even beers.

Broken Social Scene are going home for some time to recuperate, to heal the wounds of six years of running with hardly a pause. For some members it's a chance to focus on long-postponed projects, and for others an eagerly anticipated return to parenthood.

Do Make Say Think are finalizing tour plans in preparation for their coming studio release. The last month's tour has prepared audiences for the band's imminent headlining run.

I've already reserved a role on that tour as merchandise manager/tour journalist. This week has set my course too.